How can I open Aurora HDR 2019 and edit the ORIGINAL photograph?

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    Anastasia Davis

    Hi Stan! With the new algorithms of Quantum HDR Engine, any photo will be processed.  That is how the product works. Nevertheless, you can always adjust the final result with all the filters of Aurora HDR 2019.

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    stan phillips

    With the new algorithms of Quantum HDR Engine, any photo will be processed:

    Hi Anastasia,

    This automatic processing of the original is the problem.   I start our with a photo that needs little or no adjustments.    It gets 'processed',  making major changes and all the filters of Aurora HDR 2019 cannot get me back to the original photo that I started with.   2019 would be a great program IF this 'automatic processing'  could be turned off,

     

     

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    Denis Kotsee

    At the moment we're collecting user feedback about this. If this indeed turns out to be an issue, we'll take appropriate action.

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    Guy Kimola

    Stan, try opening the image (it gets processed) then add a layer as "Add New Image Layer" and choose the same file.

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    K.G. Wuensch

    Unavoidable automatisms are a big problem in Skylum software, Luminar Neptune had them which rendered it unusable except of as a plugin from Photoshop. Luminar 2018 has them (for example the ludicrous automatic noise reduction when opening RAW) which makes it unusable except as a plugin from Photoshop and now Aurora HDR has them too - maybe it’s time for you to adopt a different mindset. Keep the automatisms available but make them optional - it only takes a simple button whether it’s called “auto” or “revert” doesn’t matter but don’t force an automatism on your users photos - especially as your proudly presented sample images tend to invoke repulsion among normal photographers (I have talked to many back when I was still recommending Luminar, they were united in their “boy do these look hopelessly overprocessed” asessment’). Your current Aurora HDR samples on your website are especially bad as besides having that trademark over the top processing some also show excessive dust on the sensors which is made highly visible by your over the top processing!

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    stan phillips

    Stan, try opening the image (it gets processed) then add a layer as "Add New Image Layer" and choose the same file.

    Thanks Guy: This  bypasses all that processing for a single RAW file - unfortunalty it  does not work for bracketed files. 

    As  K.G. Wuensch has commented - make all these 'automatisms' optional.  As it is now,  it is unusable for 'normal photographers'.

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    Richard Harrington

    All bracketed files by their very nature would have to get processed and tone mapped.

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    stan phillips

    Bracketed files are, as you put it  by their nature 'processed' to get the balanced exposure - but  'Tone Mapping'  is optional.   

    On the 2018 the initial presented image was NOT 'tone mapped' while on the 2019 it is - with no means of getting the original.   You can check this for yourself.  Load in a bracketed  set  ( or even just one)   and before making any changes - you can see the original ''non-tone-mapped' picture by clicking on the "Quick Preview" or the 'Compare".    You can look at it but not load it in,

     

     

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi Stan,

    Tone mapping is automatic in both Aurora HDR 2018 and 2019. The image you see when you click the Quick Preview button is the median exposure - not a blend of all processed exposures.

    If you want to load the median exposure to work on as a layer with the tone mapped version you can go to Layers > Add New Image Layer and then navigate to the median exposure in your bracketed set.

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    stan phillips

    HI Angela,

    In effect that means 2009 is useless for working with a bracketed set.

     

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    Keith Dunn

    A challenge I have with the versions of Aurora is the "look" of the initial image produced. I use the package professionally and my clients come to expect a look and make a decision to choose me based on that look. With 2019 the resulting image from combining the brackets is great but has a bit more of an HDR look than the default image in 2018. In 2018 I could apply the presets to get to where I wanted to be. In 2019 I have not yet mastered relaxing the HDR look to the initial image.

    An approach I prefer is to use the "perfectness" of the HDR look to selectively draw ones eye around the image rather than have the entire image perfect.

    Make no mistake, I am very happy with the product but it is challenge to keep "my look" to my images. The basic image that 2019 produces requires that I modify the look my clients will expect. Moving forward I would like some consistency so I can choose to produce equivalent looking images with subsequent versions.

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    K.G. Wuensch

    @Keith, looking at the history of changes Skylum makes from version to version reveals that the concept of a workflow is totally alien to them. They don’t understand that more professional users require consistency and repeatability of results. Instead they try to please the laymen with “the image will automatically...” one size fits all solutions. “AI” is the most abused term in this regard! Unfortunately they don’t seem to get it that for those that have established a look this attitude is making the use of the software harder and harder and is costing you money!

    That is the thing other companies like Adobe got right from the get go, an image developed with version 1 of LR will still look right today when processed in LR Classic CC many years later, only if you willingly switch process version the result will differ. What’s worse is that I have seen reports that saved Aurora 2018 images look completely differently if opened in Aurora 2019.  This means that Skylum failed to preserve the old processing engine and thus has invalidated a lot of users work. 

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    Yeo Wenqi

    Actually I agree - the automatic processing can sometimes go a little overboard. I process a mixture of bracketed and single exposure images, and this is particularly annoying for the latter when you only want minor tuning. Currently I am superimposing the processed output with the original with adjusted opacity with 3rd party programs, but you can imagine it's far from ideal.

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    stan phillips

    Hi Yeo,  I agree with you,     Being retired I do not normally have a lot of pictures to process - however today was the exception.  A mix of single and bracketed.  This 2019 program with the automatic HDR processing pushing things too far was a real pain.   It would be a good program if it was  possible  to have the combined photo's similar to the HDR 2018 before this new 'intelligent' processor got at it..  I eventually gave up.   It is going 'on the shelf'  until such time as ( if ?? ) these problems are resolved.

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    Guy Kimola

    In 2017 (which I still use) you can access any of the original brackets as a layer, original except for being aligned. I wish they'd bring back that feature.

     

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi Guy,

    I agree, that feature is missed. I'll make sure it is added to our feature request list and hopefully our developers will bring that back in the future.

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    Familie Kingma

    I agree, would like to have this feature. I was hoping adding a layer "Add new original image layer"  would add the unprocessed image but that does not seem to be the case when using it as plugin from photos and when used alone.

    It would be useful to for example, to paint in the original skin tones because most of the time the HDR version does not look natural.

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    stan phillips

    Hi Familie,  

    I am amazed that Skylum blocked access to the original bracketed image - while letting one look at it.    Why??  

    For me,  HDR 6809 is now shelf-ware.   IMHO  It is not a program for those who are working to get the photograph right first time - and may only need a few very small changes.

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    Margaret Stocker

    I agree!! I'm still debating if Aurora 2019 fits my needs; all the images appear overprocessed when they are opened in Aurora 2019 and I find the business of "unprocessing" time consuming and not needed in terms of workflow. The software also seems to be focused on landscape and nature. Not much there for those of us who like to work at portraits or lifestyle with a natural look. HDR, yes; overprocessed detail, no. I'll stick with Lightroom for the time being.

     

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    stan phillips

     HI Margaret,

    I have finished debating - it dies not fit my needs either and I have already deleted it from my  computer.  Next time I shall try before I buy.

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    Margaret Stocker

    On the verge of it. I started with the 2018 version; they offered me the 2019 version and I thought it would have been resolved with the upgrade. Nope. I can get a pretty good HDR from Lightroom and will continue with it. Thanks for your feedback.

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    James Franklin

    For me, the Aurora 2019 feature to do initial automatic HDR processing upon opening a file is unwanted and unwarranted. Whether opening the file directly in Aurora 2019 or processing the file when using Aurora 2019 as an extension from Mac Photos, the results are worthless to me. I purchased Aurora 2019 earlier today. The first image on which I used it resulted in Aurora 2019 producing a grossly over-processed image that would require as much correction as would the original image.

    I think that the Skylum programmers have done an excellent job writing algorithms to accomplish the technical photo editing features. I find those features useful and I purchased Aurora 2019 in order to get some of the improvements in Aurora 2019 that correct issues that I found in Aurora 2017.

    However the interface decision to apply HDR processing automatically is not useful to me. I see that there is a workaround when loading an image directly into Aurora 2019 but I do not see a similar solution when using Aurora 2019 as an extension.

    In order for Aurora 2019 to be useful to me, the program should provide a rich set of photo-editing features without imposing those features upon my photographs.

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    stan phillips

    Hi James:  I  bought the pre-release - Aurora 2019.  I  see from your comments that there has not been any attempt to provide a bypass to the auto HDR processing. For me, it has made the program useless and it  is no longer on my computer.

    A side effect is that for me, this problem has hurt their reputation and I no longer check the Skylum site for new programs.

     

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    James Franklin

    Stan

    This issue makes Aurora 2019 useless for me, too. I still have Aurora 2017 installed so I will use that when certain features are beneficial for a particular image.

    I am hopeful that Skylum will consider the point of these comments. It baffles me that a software vendor would impose such action onto a client's file loaded into the program.

    Another aspect of this issue: Aurora 2019 (and earlier versions) have a cluster of presets that we can choose to apply to our image files. Those are not imposed upon us. None of those fit my needs and I have that feature, to show those, turned off. I use Mac Photos editing features and Aurora 2017 fully at my discretion. There are very specific goals I have in mind when I edit my photos.

    Please, Skylum, continue to make your software a powerful image editing tool kit but please do not arbitrarily impose image edits onto my image files. Respect my decisions about how to use the tools on my photo files.

    Jim

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    Anna V

    Thank you for all your feedback. We highly appreciate it. 

    We forward the comments to our technical department for their consideration. 

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    stan phillips

    Hi Anna,

    This has been a problem right from the beginning.   The response from Skylum: (See above)

      *******

    4 months ago:   At the moment we're collecting user feedback about this. If this indeed turns out to be an issue, we'll take appropriate action

     ********

    After 4 months (when the program was released) and no "appropriate action" seems clear that, for Skylum,  it is not "an issue'.    If your main market is  the  "Point and Shoot " community it probably is not "an issue" however by not providing a bypass for this "intelligent processing"  you have lost the professional and 'advanced amateur' community.  

    The Cell phone camera has created a new community of new photographers:   When those who purchase Aurora 2019 go beyond the "point and shoot' stage and find that this "intelligent processing' changes their pictures beyond recovering the original, you may lose them as well.  

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    K.G. Wuensch

    I concur, Skylum has well and truly lost the plot... They are in way over their head with Luminar 3 and now they have managed to ruin Aurora HDR - one such problem a company normally can survive, after two it‘s doubtful but only chance is to finally listen to the customers. Produce the next blunder (or don‘t fix the massive ones - and with Aurora HDR it would be as easy as adding a „disable automatic“ preset) and it‘s doubtful is the company can come back from it. It‘s not as if they had anything unique that other software doesn‘t do better already...

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    Steve Eilenberg

    I agree with above comments. I have been using HDR 2019 mostly with single images.Out of the box (without layers and tweaks), most images appear over processed. Would love to have the ability (in program) to dial the effects back toward the original image. A percent slider would be great with the original image available as the base layer. I'm guessing this is not trivial reprogramming as others have asked for it and we don't have this feature yet. It (and more seamless exporting back to LR) would make this a much more appealing product.

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    stan phillips

    Hi Steve,   It has been asked for right from the release.  The previous version HDR 2018 did not have this 'intelligent processing' - it should be simple to have the option of opening the photo using the 2018 processing.    To me, the current ( Feb 2019) advertising of winning a tour of Iceland - or a three week membership of Viewbug is not a good alternative  to correcting clearly identified bugs in their software.

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    Paul Rodden

    I would also like to show my interest in being able to reset the image to its original in Aurora 2019, if necessary, after import.

     

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